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Thursday, 22 September 2011

Scotland’s New Crime Festival - Bloody Scotland

I had the most fantastic time on Friday at the launch of Bloody Scotland in the company of most of Scotland’s crime writers, and I wanted to share it with you.

Authors attending launch of Bloody Scotland

What is Bloody Scotland? Well, it’s an exciting new project to bring together the best of Scottish crime writing and crime writers in a new festival planned for next year. The venue is Stirling, and the dates are 14th to 16th September 2012.

How did it all come about? Alex Gray and Lin Anderson say they were indulging in a glass of Prosecco at the bar and wondering if Scotland could have its own crime festival, similar to the one in Harrogate. Several glasses later they were still tossing the idea around and had even given it a name, Bloody Scotland, visualising Harrogate Crime Festival attendees turning to each other at the bar and saying, ‘You going to Bloody Scotland this year?’ So that was the start of it.

So, out of that conversation Bloody Scotland took root as more than an idea. Therefore it can be said that the festival is the inspiration of crime writers Lin Anderson and Alex Gray who believed, given the global reputation of Scottish crime writing, that there should be a showcase to celebrate its quality and diversity while placing it in an international context.

After that initial start a committee was set up and has been beavering away to make Bloody Scotland a reality. The launch on Friday was the first step towards publication of the information and to hail the Bloody Scotland Festival in Stirling as the place to be next September.

The festival has the support of Stirling Council, Creative Scotland, University of Stirling and will be working closely with Stirling’s well-established literary festival, Off the Page.

Ian Rankin said “Scottish crime writing continues to fire on all cylinders, and talented new voices keep appearing. Bloody Scotland is a long overdue celebration of Scotland’s favourite genre, one of its most successful cultural exports ~ and a chance to hear some of the most interesting international writers too.”

Robert Ruthven, Information, Libraries & Archives Service manager commented, “It is a great compliment to the continuing success of Off the Page Stirling Book Festival that the organisers of Bloody Scotland have chosen Stirling as the venue for their Crime Weekend. Visiting crime authors are always warmly received by the Stirling public and the inaugural Bloody Scotland Festival can only add to Stirling’s reputation as the city which loves its crime. Our library staff who organise Off the Page are looking forward to this new working partnership.”

On 14 September 2012 the University of Stirling will host masterclasses, workshops and a publishers and agents forum. “Stirling has a thriving centre for publishing studies and we’ve just launched a postgraduate creative writing programme,” says Douglas Brodie, head of the School of Arts and Humanities. “We’re delighted to help aspiring writers at the festival develop their talent, technique and professional savvy.”

Emma Turnbull at Creative Scotland says “Bloody Scotland will be a welcome addition to the host of vibrant and diverse literature festivals we support across Scotland.”

Full programme details of the debut festival will be launched in late spring 2012.

For more information contact 0797 1099402

So, put the date in your diary and remember to look out for the submission information in the spring. And I’ll see you there.

1 comment:

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Sandra was telling us about this on Tuesday, Chris - sounds brilliant and seemingly there's now great interest from the US and other places!